The George Floyd Verdict: Accountability is the first step towards justice

April 21, 2021

Dear SPH Community,

Yesterday, a jury in Minneapolis found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. This is an important verdict, a small but crucial step toward recognizing and confronting the legacy of structural racism against Black Americans. It marks what I hope will be the beginning of a sea change in how our country addresses police violence against Black Americans. The verdict is important for human rights and for the health and wellbeing of all Americans. Yesterday’s verdict is not yet justice. But it is accountability. And accountability is the first step towards justice. And for that, I am grateful.

Racism is a public health crisis and thus, as public health practitioners, scholars, and teachers, we need to continue to confront the profound harms of racism in all its forms. This is essential to fostering and allowing us to move forward towards greater equity in our society.

We have a lot of work ahead. To all in our community, please continue to engage, share ideas, and ensure that we all hold each other accountable to create a more diverse and inclusive community that can tackle these challenges effectively.

Thank you and please stay safe.